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Ephesians Lesson 5 -Saved but Unsure

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Ephesians Lesson 5 - Saved but Unsure

Ephesians 2:1–3 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
And you - Continuation from chapter 1
When Paul speaks of you, he is speaking of the Gentiles; when he speaks of us, he is speaking of the Jews, his own people. In this passage, he shows how terrible the Christless life was for both Gentiles and Jews.
“You were dead “
Ephesians 2
“You were dead “
The kind of death Paul talks about in is a strange one—one in which, although dead, the sinner nevertheless walks about quite actively in sin. He is dead toward God. But he is alive to all wickedness.
We err if we think that dead in trespasses and sins says everything about man's lost condition. It is an err because the Bible uses many different pictures to describe the state of the unsaved man, saying he is:
We err if we think that dead in trespasses and sins says everything about man's lost condition. It is an err because the Bible uses many different pictures to describe the state of the unsaved man, saying he is:
Blind ()
- Blind ()- A slave to sin ()- A lover of darkness ()- Sick ()- Lost ()- An alien, a stranger, a foreigner (, )- A child of wrath ()- Under the power of darkness () “In the trespasses and sins in which you once walked” - The words he uses are interesting.
“In the trespasses and sins in which you once walked” - The words he uses are interesting.
A slave to sin ()
A lover of darkness ()
Sick ()
Lost ()-
An alien, a stranger, a foreigner (, )
A child of wrath ()
Under the power of darkness ()
In some ways the unregenerate man is dead; in other ways he is not. Therefore, it is valid to appeal to all men to believe. Sins
Sins
Hosea 11:4 ESV
I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
(Dr. Vernon McGee)
- Adam died spiritually the day he disbelieved and disobeyed God. He ran away from God and tried to hide. He wasn’t looking for God.
- That is the position of natural man today. This idea that men have a little spark of the divine and are looking for God is as false as can be.
- On the day Adam disobeyed, he died to God and to the things of God, although he didn’t die physically until nine hundred years after he had eaten the fruit. But he had lost his capacity and longing for God.
- He was separated from God. After all, death is separation. All death is a separation. Physical death is separation of the spirit and the soul from the body. When someone dies, we don’t see the separation of the spirit and the soul; we see only the dead body.
- Spiritual death is a separation from God. After man sinned, he could go on living physically and mentally, but he was spiritually dead, separated from God.
- He passed that same dead nature on to all his offspring. It is only the convicting work of the Holy Spirit that can prick the conscience of any man in this world today.
- You can’t do it and I can’t do it. Only the Spirit of God can do it.
Hosea 11:4 ESV
I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
Adam died spiritually the day he disbelieved and disobeyed God. He ran away from God and tried to hide. He wasn’t looking for God. That is the position of natural man today. This idea that men have a little spark of the divine and are looking for God is as false as can be. On the day Adam disobeyed, he died to God and to the things of God, although he didn’t die physically until nine hundred years after he had eaten the fruit. But he had lost his capacity and longing for God. He was separated from God. After all, death is separation. All death is a separation. Physical death is separation of the spirit and the soul from the body. When someone dies, we don’t see the separation of the spirit and the soul; we see only the dead body. Spiritual death is a separation from God. After man sinned, he could go on living physically and mentally, but he was spiritually dead, separated from God. He passed that same dead nature on to all his offspring. It is only the convicting work of the Holy Spirit that can prick the conscience of any man in this world today. You can’t do it and I can’t do it. Only the Spirit of God can do it.
Hosea 11:
McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Ephesians) (electronic ed., Vol. 47, pp. 68–69). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
“In the trespasses and sins in which you once walked” - The words he uses are interesting.
Sins
Sins
The word for sin is hamartia; and hamartia is a shooting word. It literally means a miss. Someone shoots an arrow at the target; the arrow misses; that is hamartia. Sin is the failure to hit the target of life. That is precisely why sin is so universal.
We commonly have a wrong idea of sin. We would readily agree that those who rob or commit murder are sinners; but, since most of us are respectable citizens, in our heart of hearts we think that sin does not have very much to do with us. We would probably rather resent being called hell-deserving sinners. But hamartia brings us face to face with what sin is, the failure to be what we ought to be and could be.
The word for sin is hamartia; and hamartia is a shooting word. It literally means a miss. Someone shoots an arrow at the target; the arrow misses; that is hamartia. Sin is the failure to hit the target of life. That is precisely why sin is so universal.
When we realize what sin is, we come to see that it is not something which theologians have invented. It is something which is found in every aspect of life. It is the failure in any sphere of life to be what we ought to be and could be.
?The kind of death Paul talks about in is a strange one—one in which, although dead, the sinner nevertheless walks about quite actively in sin. He is dead toward God. But he is alive to all wickedness. Paul uses strong, active words here. Although spiritually dead, the sinner follows the ways of the world and of the devil and spends his time gratifying the cravings of his sinful nature.
Trespasses
The other word Paul uses, translated as trespasses, is paraptōma. This literally means a slip or a fall. It is used for someone losing the way and straying from the right road; it is used for failing to grasp and slipping away from the truth. Trespass is taking the wrong road when we could take the right one; it is missing the truth that we should have known. Therefore, it is the failure to reach the goal we ought to have reached.
Trespasses speaks of man as a rebel, sins speaks of man as a failure. "Before God we are both rebels and failures."
Every unsaved man is walking around in this world like a spiritual zombie.
I say this because the kind of death Paul talks about in is a strange one—one in which, although dead, the sinner nevertheless walks about quite actively in sin. He is dead toward God. But he is alive to all wickedness. Paul uses strong, active words here. Although spiritually dead, the sinner follows the ways of the world and of the devil and spends his time gratifying the cravings of his sinful nature.
Every unsaved man is walking around in this world like a spiritual zombie.
Trespasses speaks of man as a rebel, sins speaks of man as a failure. "Before God we are both rebels and failures."
Paul uses strong, active words here. Although spiritually dead, the sinner follows the ways of the world and of the devil and spends his time gratifying the cravings of his sinful nature.
“following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience”
We conformed to the society and the civilization and the life–style of the world. We were walking according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that energizes the sons of disobedience. That is Satan and he takes folks and leads them around.
As unbelievers the Ephesians also walked according to the prince of the power of the air, that is, the devil. He is the ruler of the fallen world system (). The devil affects the unbelieving world as the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. The devil is working in the lives of unbelievers, seeking to deceive them.
As unbelievers the Ephesians also walked according to the prince of the power of the air, that is, the devil. He is the ruler of the fallen world system (). The devil affects the unbelieving world as the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. The devil is working in the lives of unbelievers, seeking to deceive them.
(Stott) Paul uses strong, active words here. Although spiritually dead, the sinner follows the ways of the world and of the devil and spends his time gratifying the cravings of his sinful nature.
“among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
Paul now switches from the second person plural to the first person plural. Here Paul includes himself and Jewish believers.
we all once lived:
We all once lived:
The passions of our flesh
Carrying out the desires of the body
Desires of the mind
By nature children of wrath
Paul now switches from the second person plural to the first person plural. Here Paul includes himself and Jewish believers.
The natural condition of fallen people is that they are subjects of God’s wrath (; )
The natural condition of fallen people is that they are subjects of God’s wrath (; ).
No one can save himself from this horrible condition.
No one can save himself from this horrible condition.
The Grace New Testament Commentary D. God’s Salvation Plan: Past, Present, and Future (2:1–7)

The natural condition of fallen people is that they are subjects of God’s wrath (John 3:18; 3:36).

No one can save himself from this horrible condition.

When you were dead in your sins and trespasses, those sins and trespasses in which once you walked, living life in the way in which this present age of this world lives it, living life as the ruler of the power of the air dictates it, that spirit who now operates in the children of disobedience—and once all we too lived the same kind of life as these children of disobedience do, a life in which we were at the mercy of the desires of our lower nature, a life in which we followed the wishes of our lower nature and of our own designs, a life in which, as far as human nature goes, we deserved nothing but the wrath of God, as the others do.
Ephesians
Ephesians 2:4–6 ESV
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
When Paul speaks of you, he is speaking of the Gentiles; when he speaks of us, he is speaking of the Jews, his own people. In this passage, he shows how terrible the Christless life was for both Gentiles and Jews.
“But God” -
(1) He says that that life was lived in sins and trespasses.
Rich: in abundance, pertaining to that which is in a large amount
Mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
We commonly have a wrong idea of sin. We would readily agree that those who rob or commit murder are sinners; but, since most of us are respectable citizens, in our heart of hearts we think that sin does not have very much to do with us. We would probably rather resent being called hell-deserving sinners. But hamartia brings us face to face with what sin is, the failure to be what we ought to be and could be.
“Because of the great love with which he loved us”
love (Christian) n. — a strong, non-sexual affection and regard for a person and their good as understood by God’s moral character; especially characterized by a willing forfeiture of rights or privileges in another person’s behalf.
Is a man as good a husband as he might be? Does he try to make life easier for his wife? Does he inflict his moods on his family? Is a woman as good a wife as she might be? Does she really try to understand her husband’s problems and worries? Are we as good parents as we might be? Do we discipline and train our children as we ought, or do we often leave it to someone else? As our children grow older, do we come nearer to them, or do they drift away until conversation is often difficult and we and they are practically strangers? Are we as good sons and daughters as we might be? Do we ever even try to say thank you for what has been done for us? Do we ever see the hurt look in our parents’ eyes and know that we put it there? Do we do our work as conscientiously as we should? Is every working hour filled with our best work, and is every task done as well as we could possibly do it?
When we realize what sin is, we come to see that it is not something which theologians have invented. It is something which is found in every aspect of life. It is the failure in any sphere of life to be what we ought to be and could be.
grace n. — goodwill freely disseminated (by God); especially to the benefit of the recipient regardless of the benefit accrued to the disseminator.
The other word Paul uses, translated as trespasses, is paraptōma. This literally means a slip or a fall. It is used for someone losing the way and straying from the right road; it is used for failing to grasp and slipping away from the truth. Trespass is taking the wrong road when we could take the right one; it is missing the truth that we should have known. Therefore, it is the failure to reach the goal we ought to have reached.
Are we in life where we ought to be? Have we reached the goal of efficiency and skill that our gifts might have enabled us to reach? Have we reached the goal of service to others that we might have reached? Have we reached the goal of goodness to which we might have attained?
The central idea of sin is failure—failure to hit the target, failure to hold to the road, failure to make life what it was capable of becoming—and that definition includes every one of us.
Barclay, W. (2002). The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians (pp. 109–111). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.
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